Flat Rate pricing Explained
Motorcycle repair costs at a shop are basically comprised of labor and parts. Labor is typically calculated based on a standard "flat rate" estimate. Flat rate labor guides estimate labor time down to the tenth of an hour. For my example, if a starter for a specific bike pays 1.2 hours to change, the labor cost will be determined by multiplying the time by the shops labor rate, lets say the shops labor rate is $90.00 per flat rate hour (1.2 x $90.00=$108.00). Keep in mind that labor times can vary greatly depending on the year and model. Also motorcycle repair shop labor rates vary at each shop and from city to city. Labor time does NOT take in to consideration the requirement for special tools, experience or lack of.
Flat Rate or Actual Time
If the actual time it takes to repair the vehicle is LESS or MORE than the estimated flat rate time, the customer still pays the flat rate amount. More experienced bike technicians and techs with time saving tools can most of the time beat the flat rate time (AKA book time). The technician, if paid by flat rate has an incentive to do the job fast and correctly. If he makes a mistake and has to do the job again (commonly called a comeback) he does it the second time for free! Also keep in mind that a flat rate technician does not get paid time and a half for over-time, or for standing around waiting for work or parts. It's necessary for the technician to be productive and make up for this lost time by learning from his experience and buying tools that make him more efficient. Tools with exception of larger shop equipment items are usually the responsibility of each mechanic to purchase individually.